Students Today... Leaders Tomorrow


Youth Leadership Chattanooga (YLC) serves high school sophomores and juniors who show leadership abilities, but who may not have had the opportunity to reach that potential. The program challenges and sustains youth in developing the following: 

  • The ability to provide effective and ethical leadership for Hamilton County. 
  • An increased awareness of, and appreciation for, Hamilton County and its people,
  • The ability and desire to serve the needs of the community both now and in the future. 
  • A strong bond with a diverse network of peers from throughout Hamilton County. 

Each year, a class of up to 40 students is selected to participate in the program. This includes an overnight retreat and continues throughout the year with 8-day long sessions that teach youth:

  • About their history and government, concepts of building community and citizenship, increase their appreciation for cultural diversity, develop leadership skills and expose teens to career fields in our area.
  • Following graduation, students identify needs in the community and develop projects and personal goals to be pursued during their junior or senior years. 

Qualifications: 

  • Candidates for selection must be currently enrolled as a high school freshman or sophomore. 
  • Have at least a 2.0 GPA
  • Have a sincere interest in serving the community and demonstrate the potential for leadership. 

For more information, contact Matt Russnogle, Program Director at jrussnogle@ymcachattanooga.org or 423.800.2131.